View Full Version : Aer Lingus Endgame

28th Jan 2002, 20:33
With a possible strike action looming by pilots, could this be the final stab in the back for EI??. ...... .Aer Lingus pilots are today waiting to be told to begin industrial action over compulsory redundancies at the airline.

Balloting of IMPACT union members, totalling 540 pilots, is due to finish in the middle of next week.

A total of 300 Aer Lingus pilots have already cast their vote, according to IMPACT, and the union has said a "significant majority" of these are in favour of strike action.

IMPACT spokesman Mr Bernard Harbor told ireland.com its members were considering strike action because of the airline’s decision to let go of 80 pilots. Aer Lingus has already issued compulsory redundancy notice to ten people, he said.

Mr Harbor said should the protest go ahead, the most likely action would be a series of one-day strikes starting next month.. . <img src="frown.gif" border="0">

high & fast
29th Jan 2002, 00:31
Shamrock pilots must think very carefully about this move. Stand up and be counted now over a few jobs and some working conditions. Or, cave in and at least have a better chance of continued employment for all. Which way is best? Good luck to all!!

29th Jan 2002, 16:59
The pilots in Aer Lingus have been treated so badly over the past ten years that many of them now feel it's make or break time.. .They have been abused and mistreated by bad managers plain and simple.. .Now when the company needs some flex there is nothing to give.. .It's not just about redundancies thats just the tip of the iceberg.. .It's good to see that the new CX still has that inbred pilot love of coffee...rumour has it he just spent 1000 euro on a new machine for his office.

Pete Otube
29th Jan 2002, 18:17
Now remember, lads, keep both feet close together.

(Then you will be able to hit both with one shot)

30th Jan 2002, 00:40
Venice, I heard a rumour that said Coffee Machine cost more in the region of E4,000 and was bought because canteen coffe was usuitable for visiting clients!!! Now when did Airlines start winning contracts based on how good their coffee was???!!!

30th Jan 2002, 01:32
Seems to me, that one and all should remember the action that Sabena crews had, although the end for Sabena was probably coming anyway..their action brought it sooner rather than later <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">

Crusty Ol Cap'n
30th Jan 2002, 02:42
Flame, Along with everybody else on this thread, you are missing the point. ALT is not honouring it's agreements with it's pilots and the pay and conditions they are trying to impose are so bad that the pilot body would rather see the company dead than accept them. Either way we will all be looking for new jobs unless IALPA/IMPACT are successful.

30th Jan 2002, 13:47
Hope it's not a last straw breaking a Camel's back situation like Sabena ...

30th Jan 2002, 14:05
Call_Belle...for that kind of money he could have hired one of our own beauties to make his brew..but then he probably has a locked door policy in his office at the moment..

30th Jan 2002, 14:18
high & fast, an alternative view:

Shamrock pilots must think very carefully about this move. Stand up for their rights and be counted now, or cave in and let management walk all over them in the future.

At easyJet we will soon not have that option. Management have sent the BALPA Pilot Council off to find a form of words which will introduce a 'no strike clause' into the Agreement between BALPA and the airline. At least Aer Lingus have decided to ballot their members - a luxury not afforded to us!

high & fast
30th Jan 2002, 16:49
Dear SITW, you may as well not have a CC and Balpa if you introduce such a clause. Time for your CC to tell 'Easymanagement' where to go. Does anybody know if the ALT pilots have actually voted for Ind. action and if so what form will it take and when?

30th Jan 2002, 19:34
The really bad news is that your frequent flyers are now abandoning Aer Lingus. Apparently people are using thier miles while they still have them to by flight with BA and AA.

And now, the end is near, thier calling in the final curtain........

Like the other guy said so well said feet together and pull

30th Jan 2002, 22:47
Unconfirmed development just reported on RTE teletext:

[quote]There has been a major development in the Aer Lingus pilots dispute.. .It is believed the company will announce this evening that it is prepared to offer the same redundancy terms to captains as to other pilots and staff. The development comes on the eve of the results of the pilots ballot on strike action. <hr></blockquote>

. .<a href="http://www.rte.ie/aertel/p106.htm" target="_blank">Aer Lingus development</a>

I've added the text, as well as the url, because these pages get reused fairly quickly for fresh news stories.. . <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> IMHO this is nothing less than fair play.

30th Jan 2002, 23:25
Looks like a good development alright... more on it is at <a href="http://www.onbusiness.ie/2002/0130/aerlingus.html" target="_blank">http://www.onbusiness.ie/2002/0130/aerlingus.html</a>

31st Jan 2002, 05:13
Apparently IMPACT maintain there are still conditions in the Captains redundancy offer not specified in the other staffs offers

31st Jan 2002, 14:10
Not so fast....more strings than a Victorias Secrets sale I'm afraid. The company want to fund the package via the remaing pilots thru work pratice changes. Sorry but my feet will be close together.

31st Jan 2002, 15:17
I'll bet any money that when WW was a pilot he would not have stood for any of this bullsh*t! Cappucino anyone?? <img src="mad.gif" border="0">

31st Jan 2002, 18:01
Sorry about the numerous posts here, but this one should have WW crapping his (and everyone elses!)pants!


IMPACT Aer Lingus pilots vote for industrial action

By Aoife O'Reilly Last updated: 31-01-02, 13:33

IMPACT pilots at Aer Lingus have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The pilots’ strike ballot was passed by 97 per cent as 475 of the pilots voted for the motion and 14 against. There was a 92 per cent turnout, IMPACT said.

The union, which represents 540 of the company’s pilots, has now challenged Aer Lingus management to withdraw compulsory redundancies. Ten notices have already been served on junior pilots and around 80 posts still need to be shed.

Speaking after the ballot result was announced, IMPACT’s Mr Bernard Habour said: "If the redundancies are not withdrawn it is likely we will announce some form of strike action in the next few days. This will probably be in the form of one-day strike action but that has not been decided yet".

A minimum of seven days notice must be given before any action takes place.

The result follows Aer Lingus management’s last-ditch offer to meet the pilots' demands over redundancy packages.

Before the ballot result was known, Aer Lingus said it had now offered the same terms to pilots and the ballot should be declared invalid. A spokesman said: "They have the precise same terms. There are no conditions that do not apply to every other member of staff".

He accused the pilots of refusing to sign up to the "essential" survival plan for Aer Lingus, drawn up when the company ran into financial difficulties. "This industry has fundamentally changed. If we do not change with it we will not have a business," he said.

But IMPACT had responded to the offer by describing it as a "publicity stunt".. . <img src="frown.gif" border="0">

31st Jan 2002, 18:19
Great to see that there are pilots out there prepared to put up rather than shut up-fair play to them and I wish them luck.

31st Jan 2002, 18:42
Prime Time RTE1 9:30pm Thursday night. Representatives from both Aer Lingus and Ryanair in studio, to discuss current going's on in aviation.

With the day that's in it, this could be worth watching.

31st Jan 2002, 18:54
Good to see that 475 people had the brains to vote themselves out of a job. And they let people with this kind of think fly a plane ????

From what I hear MOL a, doest pay well b, isnt expanding service at DUB.

Still there is a new McDonalds in Dublin, they need some flippers and scrapers

31st Jan 2002, 19:19
I'm just curious to find out where Aer lingus pilots think the company would find the money to give them the pay and conditions they're asking for and also where they think the money would come from to keep the pilot body at it's present level. If you think any bank would lend this company money it it's present state then you're off your rocker!

If a company is losing money like AL and has suffered a dramatic downturn in business, then they must re-structure and cut costs and that includes reduncies, it's a sad fact of life when it happens, but it is a fact of life. It's plain and simple, the company do not have the money, why can't people understand this? how can you expect AL to keep workers on when they're losing money? Do you think AL should keep all it's workers on and continue to run at a loss?

Someone please answer this and try and keep it civilised.

Elwood Senese
31st Jan 2002, 19:51
oneworld I couldn’t agree more. Too many people have seen EI as an extension to the Irish government for too long and, in my opinion this is a major (the only?) cause of the ridiculous staff vs. seat equation.

Of course people will be upset and say the company hasn’t honoured its commitments and it’s not fair but as you say that it is the way the world goes around.

Crusty: If the pilot body would rather see the company go under than accept changes to working practices then that speaks volumes. WW should just turn out the lights. I truly hope this doesn’t happen, but the individuals who have already signed will, perhaps, feel a little easier living with their decision to leave voluntarily.

Call_Belle et. al.: References to coffee machines on the fifth floor and the relative merits on the coffee in the ‘Canner’ warrant no place on this forum.

Since September there has been a lot of sadness and anger in EI, at all levels I must add, and I thought the company would pull through.

Personally I would be upset to see it go under. Though recent events in EI have already cost me and my partner jobs we both enjoyed.

Wise up guys…

31st Jan 2002, 23:38
This dispute is not about pay or working conditions. It's about respect. EI pilots have none from management. They plough through the agreements and refuse to engage in meaningful negotiations.. .1600 weeks outstanding leave. That's 40 pilot jobs.. .40 copilots should have commmand by now (to help reduce the leave bill among other reasons); 40 extra jobs for copilots.. ."Work practice" changes give no monetary saving to EI; it only gives them the opportunity to flaunt their already inept rostering system.. .A job and work security agreement where several clauses must be fulfilled (by both sides) before the route of compulsory redundancies is tackled. The company have helpfully ignored most of these clauses.. .Absolute stonewalling at the idea of jointly determining the requirement for pilot numbers in EI.. .No williingness by management to benchmark their pilots' productivity against ANY other airline.. .In other areas in the airline where the voluntary take up has not been sufficient no compulsory notice has been served; those people now check punters in every day of the week.. .Pilots have not rejected the survival plan unlike some other groups.. .A company that reads "interim" changes as permanent.

Where do you draw the line? When do you make a stand? Are these enough examples? Does any pilot reading this not think their job (and QUALITY of job) is worth fighting for?

1st Feb 2002, 00:57
V50, or is it M5O .......go back to your desk and stop cluttering the net with rubbish. AL pilots are fair and good guys that have been stood on for years by management and are so backed into a corner that they have to take a stand. Ease off on calling these guys idiots, they are some of the best pilots and handlers on the block.

The Bear

1st Feb 2002, 02:51
Anyone else think the semi-state [no, not EI, RTE] showed themselves up by expecting the panelists to comment on a report based on two paragraphs!!!

What WW has to get his head around is that Ryanair lose our bags or whack them off things and guess what? We don't expect EI to do much better! What the general public has in its head is the image of DUB shut down and Airbuses on the tarmac.

Were Ansett and Sabena and Swissair not evidence enough? I'm patriotic and I will fly Irish over anyone else if I can but when I have flown BA [mainline, CFE and BRAL] I felt on a fullservice airline. On EI I don't.

EI, IMHO, needs an all airbus fleet as with Ansett III and it needs it now, with the 146 and 737 gone. Sabenas got some A319s doing nothing to get them started, could even swap with VEX for the -500.

Also, I think the Irish Govt should buy the rights to the Shamrock logo so that if EI is sold and f*cked about with the branding can be withdrawn. We don't want an "Australian Airlines" scenario, where QF put their country's name on a low cost.

1st Feb 2002, 04:56
Willie Wonka got his wake up call today. The boys will close his Choccie factory down unless he plays fair with his sweeties.. .Never heard such rubbish Listener when the boss is canning people and lashing out mad money on Maxwell House it is news!!!!

1st Feb 2002, 08:35
the pilots loved pprune-ing so much they voted themselves out of a job.

The airline is selling planes and quite literally the silver. These are not the actions of a profitable future. sorry I made that difficult to understand ill try again.

T h e a i r l i n e i s s e l l i n g p l a n e s a n d q u i t e l i t e r a l l y t h e s i l v e r .

Spearing Britney
1st Feb 2002, 16:04
I despair, the ability of some people on this forum to pontificate on topics with which they are so clearly ill acquainted is astounding.

Aer Lingus had 800million euro in the bank before September 11th, it has made an operational profit in every month except October. The pilots are not, OneWorld22, looking for improved pay or conditions. They are fighting to maintain current conditions (very liberal) and current pay (2 rises behind other groups within the airline, effectively giving the company over 11 miilion euro).

Expert external international analysts told Sabena pilots to roll over, the game was up, the company needed what they were asking for. They told us to stand up and resist union brekaing for its own sake. Aer Lingus cant even use the working conditions they have at the moment due to a pathetic weekly (yes weekly) hand written roster.

I could go on but with such prejudice and begruddgery on this site I am struggling to see the point.

Be advised that we, the Aer Lingus pilots are doing everything we can to ascertain the facts, we are making as intelligent decisions as we can and we are taking as much professional advice as we can get. We belive we are not only doing the right thing, but the only thing. 97% on a 92% turnout after unprecedented attendance at union meetings.

I fail to see why my purported aviation colleagues on this forum and elsewhere fail to support us. Damage to Aer Lingus, damage to the working conditions there, to the union, to the pay, to the numbers does benefit to not one of us...

1st Feb 2002, 16:34
MarkD, I disagree

In the last 12 months I've flown with Ryanair about 20 times and Aer Lingus about 12 times. They both do precisely what they say on the tin: Ryanair is low cost no frills and bloody good at it and Aer Lingus is a full service airline and is bloody good at that. Whether in Premier or Economy, Aer Lingus is in my experience easily as good as BA, Air France, KLM, etc, etc. On time, spotless aircraft, flexible tickets (whether they are meant to be or not!) and extremely friendly helpful professional staff.

I think there is plenty of room for both Ryanair and Aer Lingus. I sincerely hope AL will survive, not be taken over and will finally re-model itself to survive recessions and not just booms. However, even with the staff now reduced to 4000, it still has over twice the staff of Ryanair for less aircraft. Why is this? I guess being full service does require a certain % more staff but surely not over double.

[ 01 February 2002: Message edited by: BillyFish2 ]</p>

1st Feb 2002, 17:07
But, spearing britney, you're looking to avoid reduncies maintain your working conditions and pay at the present unsustainable level, that's the point. How can you expect the company to maintain the staus quo when it doesn't have the money??

Your company needs less pilots and renegotiated working conditions to survive. Your CEO spelt it out last night on Primetime. Please, someone tell me, where do you expect the money to come from to keep the status quo????

And I totally agree, there should be room for both FR and EI, two completely different airlines with different products to offer, both as pointed out, very good products. I feel sorry for Willie Walsh, he's in an impossible position.

1st Feb 2002, 19:59
I've been biting my tongue for a while but there comes a time when things have to be said and done.

(1) The comparrison between Aer Lingus pilots and Sabena pilots prior to the collapse of Sabena are invalid based on two facts. (l) The opinion of the most respected airline financial and economics analyst in the world, who said EI and SN are a million miles apart and that there is no legitimacy or need for the demands being placed on the Aer Lingus pilots by management. (ll) To suggest that Aer Lingus pilots' costs are contributing or have caused a financial crisis in Aer Lingus is ludicrous. The total cost attributable to Flt Ops in EI is 4%. IATA average is 7.2% BA 9% and AA 11%.

(2) Why have pilots (who in one case, never attended a union meeting in 36 years) voted for strike action in such overwhelming numbers ? 475 / 14 (12 management Pilots).

(3) Why have management refused for four months to offer a redundancy package to senior skippers ? Then they offered the package to skippers on year 10 or below when the most junior Capt. was on year 11. Now they have offered the package to all Capts. who are surplus for 2002. How many ? 0. Will they promote those who have passed their command checks allowing jobs at the bottom to be saved ? No.

(4) A top of scale capt. costs 4 times as much as a junior copilot. Cost was the problem, if one senior captain retires how many jobs will that save at the bottom ? 4 ? No 1. 15 Senior Capts. have expressed an interest in retiring, an interest not a commitment. Their employment cost is equal to 60 at the bottom.

(5) If the management succeeds in firing 86 copilots at the bottom of the list the balance will be Cs 230 FOs 196 with the need for an augmented LA operation. It is obvious that their plan is to crew via contract copilots in the future.

(6) In 1997 Aer Lingus through appaling foresight and inept planning were left drastically undercrewed during an industry upturn, this led to the non allocation of 2600 weeks leave, 65 pilot years of which 50 was due to Capts, 50 promotions lost. The leave backlog is 1600 weeks according to the union 600 according to the management call it 1200 for arguments sake, = 30 pilot years. Management are happy to cripple any potential to expand in an upturn. It is intended to commence redundancies while this leave backlog is not being addressed, that is fundementally unacceptable.

(7) The managements' agenda is to crush the union, reduce the pilot body to the bare minimun, continue to operate by utilising pilots on days off and provide leave when they see fit. They will promote using a right to left seat principle within fleet type ignoring the seniority agreement.

(8) The 86 jobs are a smokescreen, its the working changes they want. Why don't we agree a furlough deal some ask? The fundemental platform on which a furlough deal is based is agreeing the crew that you require and the grounds / mechanism under which all pilots surplus to that number return.

Aer Lingus management will not disclose the manner of calculation of their 426 requirement or the grounds under which any pilot surplus to that number would return.

That is the impasse that we face and the people we have to deal with. I do not believe any professional pilot can criticise our stance though some might think it foolish, I am surprised at the lack of support in some areas. We have decided to fight and maybe die on our feet but are refusing to live on our knees.

That is the choice of 97% of Aer Lingus Pilots, you don't have to agree with it but I would be grateful if you respected it.

1st Feb 2002, 20:28
I respect you for it. It is about time pilots made a stand for a fair deal. Sometimes it is better to fight and face a loss than just to cave in to the management.. .Good luck BP

1st Feb 2002, 20:47

I also respect you all for it and wish you all the best.

. .Regards. .exeng

Spearing Britney
1st Feb 2002, 21:34
OneWorld22 you asked earlier to keep it civilised and I am trying but you make it really hard, you either arent reading what is being said or you arent believing it so I wil try just once more

"But, spearing britney, you're looking to avoid reduncies maintain your working conditions and pay at the present unsustainable level, that's the point." NO ITS NOT!!! arrghhh!!! THERE IS NOTHING UNSUSTAINABLE ABOUT OUR LIBERAL WORKING CONDITIONS. THERE IS NOTHING UNSUSTAINABLE ABOUT OUR LOW PAY

"How can you expect the company to maintain the staus quo when it doesn't have the money??" 800 fing million euro!!!!!

. ."Your company needs less pilots and renegotiated working conditions to survive." RUBBISH

"Your CEO spelt it out last night on Primetime. Please, someone tell me, where do you expect the money to come from to keep the status quo????". .THE MONEY BEING MADE EVERY SINGLE MONTH AND THE MONEY IN THE BANK

Are you Willie Walsh??? I'll leave it to maxfli, I'm off to the pub.

1st Feb 2002, 21:57

Thanks for keeping it civilised. BUT, I'm talking about sustaining the current conditions. Of course the company is taking in revenues while it's still flying, but not enough to maintain what you're looking for. Why can't you accept that thinking?. .If you can tell me how AL could divert money to maintain the current pilot levels, then I'm all ears. It's not good enought to say AL has money in the bank, the point is that it doesn't have enough, you must see that.

Noone wants to see AL fail, but it can't continue under the present system and yes I'm all for trimming Management levels and getting rid of some of the ridiculous jobs these freeloaders have, very like the situation at BA where you have Managers for bread quality! Everyone will have to suffer pain in the short term, then when the company grows again it can re-build it's staff levels and hopefully grow bigger then it ever has. I'm also fully aware the pilots were one of the few groups who supported Michael Foley, who I think really could have made a difference.

I'd like to see AL sever all ties to the government, stand on it's own two feet without BA or any other airline jumping and most of all removing the SIPTU snake from the company and the current charade of union reps sitting at board room tables, I mean what a joke! Read Kevin Myers' article in todays IT about FR and SIPTU.. .But all this will involve an awful lot of pain for people.

Anyway, I genuinely things work out for everybody and I mean that.

(No, I'm definitely not Willie Walsh, I'd be more of a M'OL man myself!)

1st Feb 2002, 22:23
A 97% vote says it all.

This group is not made up of union whackos or jumped up bus drivers...as the media would like to portray.

Among the numbers there are Doctors (including two heart surgeons), Lawyers, Engineers, Accountants, and graduates of various other discplines.

Aer Lingus pilots are demanding to be treated as professionals. Simple as that. They are not going to be shafted. Their professionalism has been reinforced by the stance they`ve taken.

Those pilots among you who can`t see that are traitors to YOUR OWN PROFESSION in in my humble view.

1st Feb 2002, 22:42
On the 800 million euro. Wasn't it made out that a sh!tload of that was due on lease payments over the 12 months?

Spearing Britney
2nd Feb 2002, 16:56
OneWorld22 "BUT, I'm talking about sustaining the current conditions. Of course the company is taking in revenues while it's still flying, but not enough to maintain what you're looking for. Why can't you accept that thinking?"

Because our current working conditions are such that we can be better than industry standard efficient pilots. The company is not using them to the bes of their ability, but can you blame us for that? They seek UNSAFE (imho) conditions to beat us over the head with when they join the rest of the world and have computerised rostering. Look at it this way the conditinos they seek allow 6 dublin to chicago return trips in one month with short turnarounds. You might do that once, but think of the cumulative effect.

As for the revenues not being enough to maintain what I am looking for BELOW INDUSTRY STANDARD pay and conditons - I cannot and will not believe that that is the case. If it is then fine, close the company it doesnt deserve to exist. The pilots are not the problem, they have given all they can and have on more to give.

. ."If you can tell me how AL could divert money to maintain the current pilot levels, then I'm all ears. It's not good enought to say AL has money in the bank, the point is that it doesn't have enough, you must see that."

I am afriad I don't, it has more than enough to pay me a frozen 23K irish a year to safegueard two years of training and well over 100k irish of investment.

2nd Feb 2002, 17:18
Maxfli, Spearing Britney and the other AL pilots,. .As an ex-colleague of yours, I too would like to add my voice of support for your stand. . .I was one of the cadets let go in Sept, and as I never made it back to Dublin before the chop, I have only met a limited number of line pilots. However those I have met were, to a (wo)man, outstanding people, very professional in their attitudes and always more than helpful to and supportive of us cadets.

I have heard a rumour that one of the demands of the pilots is a written guarantee that anyone let go now would get priority if/when recruitment starts again. Is this true, and if so, will the guarantee be extended to ex-cadets also? At the time of our firing, we were given a verbal "guarantee" that taking us back on, after sacked line pilots were taken back, would be the "preferred option," but to get something in writing would be good!

So good luck guys/gals, hopefully some of us cadets will see you on an AL flightdeck someday!

6th Feb 2002, 08:42
I understand that an agreement was reached which has removed the threat of strike action. The only part of it which I know about is that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Well done guys and gals, I'm delighted that I no longer have to fear Ryanair taking over as "my" national airline. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Good Luck.


29th May 2002, 06:48
Well if I'm not wrong, it looks like its all over for Aer Lingus bar the shouting!:(

29th May 2002, 11:48

Have read through every post on this topic it now looks like there will be no strike action, there will be no immediate redundancies, there will be no reduction in pay or conditions and if the media are to believed (yeh ok i know) as of Friday there will be no airline.

Post 11th September just when airlines could do without it its not the drop in passenger traffic that will bring them down its the poor timed demands of air crew.

It might well be 97% voting for this action but I suggest you all
print off these posts and read them through when and if the airline grinds to a halt, as previous posts have commented AL is a fantastic operator full of the very best in the profession however
possibly this time the aircrew have made a life changing decision for many.

Hudson Bay
29th May 2002, 18:04
If you boys strike this week as the media are reporting, you really need to think long and hard about it. There are alot of people that are treated very badly by there employer but most just get on with it. You boys and girls should pull together and make your company work. Do not destroy Aer Lingus it has been a good company in the past and it can be good again. If you don't it looks like curtains for you all.

dallas dude
30th May 2002, 01:37
Hudson Bay,

All the Aer Lingus pilots are asking for is the same flight time duty time rules the replacement carrier's pilots will be operating under.

That's ironic, isn't it?

Aer Lingus has a long tradition of safe operation.

Willie is prepared to risk that in the days/weeks leading up to his burgeoning oportunity to lead an investment consortium interested in owning 35% of Aer Lingus.

I don't blame anyone on the planet for improving their lot. Doing it on the backs of former colleagues in a get rich quick scheme heading for a calamity isn't the best way to achieve it though.

At the very least Aer Lingus' future passengers deserve better!